Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is old news to those in the wine cognoscenti. Back in August, Fulvio Bressan, the owner and winemaker for Bressan Mastri Vinai in Fruili, posted on his FB page something that would make Paula Deen blush. He attacked the recently appointed Italian minister of integration, Cecile Kyenge, by calling her a ‘dirty black monkey’ and ‘negro gold digger’. http://dobianchi.com/2013/08/23/bressan-wine-racist-facebook/This, in reference to a program Dr. Kyenge (a native of the Republic of Congo) wants to institute providing temporary housing for undocumented immigrants. We are all quite aware of the financial struggles and challenges European countries have faced over the past four years, but does it really have to come to insults attacking race?
Apparently, it does.
And it has been going on for some time now.
I am a lover of football (both, but the world version is my first love), and the stories of fans in the stands heckling players of races other than white are many. In fact, FIFA (the governing body for world football) initiated an anti-racist policy 10 years ago. Most recently, FIFA fined the Serbian U-21 national team 90,000 Euro for racist remarks to the England U-21 team, and banned their fans from attending the next game played by the squad. Italy is one of these hotbeds, with a number of players across the world taking a stand against players and fans in the Italian Serie A Division. It goes without mentioning that there is a problem with race relations; Mario Balotelli, a black Italian player, depicted as King Kong; Dr. Kyenge referred to as an ‘orangutan’ by another politician. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jul/15/ignorant-racists-italy-cecile-kyenge
The real problem is that it is tolerated by the majority. Italy is not a ‘racist’ country, but their lack of criticism internally of the actions exhibited by their countrymen is troublesome. That Mr. Bressan decided to try to pull down his FB post is cowardly and more the actions of a teenager that realized the YouTube video of him smoking pot at a party would be discovered by his parents. And, in glorious meltdown fashion (documented on the Do Bianchi blog comment page) he attacks Bobby Stuckey, owner of Frasca Food and Wine, one of the foremost champions of Friuli cuisine and vino in the United States, because he has decided not to carry his wines anymore…
The only way to stop people like this, is to stand up. Boycott their wares, expose their words and intentions for the world to see. Intolerance may not be eradicated in one day, but these who practice it can be held accountable…
Wine Hooligans. You are on notice.